Global Water Security Center

Providing decision makers with the most reliable, ground-breaking research, applied scientific techniques, and best practices so that the hydrologic cycle and its potential impacts can be put in a context for appropriate action and response by the United States

Dr. Erin Menzies Pluer, Environmental Data Scientist



Erin Menzies Pluer is an Environmental Engineer and Hydrologist. She comes to the Global Water Security Center with experience in water security in both a research and a policy context. 

Dr. Menzies Pluer’s research focuses on water resources management in agricultural landscapes in the international development and water security domains. During Dr. Menzies Pluer’s graduate studies in Environmental Engineering at Cornell University, she investigated novel soil amendments to mitigate nutrient pollution to adjacent freshwater bodies. Erin’s research utilized both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to address interdisciplinary questions related to water and food security. After graduate school, Erin worked at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. In that role, she provided complimentary expertise to a research group using unmanned aerial vehicles to quantify soil erosion from farm fields.

Prior to joining the Global Water Security Center, Erin was a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security. In that role Dr. Menzies Pluer’s work advanced progress toward global food security goals through inclusive, sustainable, and climate smart, agriculture-led economic growth. As Activity Manager, Erin’s programming portfolio included 3 large global awards which spanned both research and implementation. In addition to program management, Erin contributed to global thought leadership products. She co-authored sections of the recent Global Food Security Strategy Refresh, including the new CCIR 6: Improved Water Resources Management, and the Water Resources Management Technical Brief.

Erin’s interest in international development began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador. She served as a Sustainable Agriculture Volunteer working with a Cocoa growers cooperative in the province of Los Rios. Since then, she has taken every opportunity to work side by side with the people she seeks to serve. She has worked with Farmer to Farmer in the Dominican Republic and Engineers in Action in eSwatini. Erin is fluent in Spanish and speaks Italian and French.